Anguished Musings on a Frayed Testimony

What is the Atonement? I asked my elder foster brother Jeff. I was 16. During the preceding six years I had been on an enforced hiatus from church activity. I had been trapped, the child and stepchild of a failing mixed faith marriage where my step-father was on a crusade to rid the world of [Read More...]

On Despising Mormon Polygamy

This is my response to the Plural Marriage in Kirkland and Nauvoo essay posted last week to LDS.org. A couple of years ago I was talking to my 16-17 year old Sunday School class about polygamy. They raised it – not me.   Our conversation was about the early practice of Mormon polygamy and how it came [Read More...]

The Temple View Saga: A Podcast

Temple View is a small Mormon village on the outskirts of Hamilton New Zealand and lies at the foot of the temple. The village grew up around both the temple and Church College of New Zealand, a school that was built by labour missionaries in the 1950’s. After 60 years of service the school closed [Read More...]

Growing Bold Mormon Daughters: The Impossibility of Emma Watson and Jacinda Ardern

If I had a daughter I hope she would be Emma Watson.   I don’t have any daughters. I have always wanted daughters, but unfortunately I can’t make them and nobody has given me any. This is a shame because I think I would be quite a good girl mother. In the absence of a [Read More...]

The Temple Recommend Series: The Interview Guidelines

In this first substantive edition of the Temple Recommend Series I will consider the guidelines for the administration of the Temple Recommend interview. I will however preface my approach to this series of essays with a bit of theorizing. My approach will be largely discourse analytical. That is, I will be analyzing the Temple Recommend [Read More...]

The Temple Recommend Series: An Introduction

I had my first temple recommend in 1987. For the next 25 years these interviews were straightforward affairs wherein I answered the questions truthfully and I was issued my recommend without complication.   For most of that time the Temple was on another island, a 956 km journey usually begun by car in the early [Read More...]

Church Leadership and the Dilemma of Dementia

Towards the end of Ezra Taft Benson’s life I recall him being very unwell.   I have a lasting image of his being seated in General Conference wide-eyed, bewildered and confused. I thought at the time, ‘He has dementia.’   But there were no announcements to confirm this. It was no secret that he was sick, [Read More...]

A Conversation with Kate Kelly: Feminist and Optimist

Kate Kelly, a recently excommunicated Mormon feminist, is the founder of Ordain Women. Though she has attracted significant media attention she still remains a bit of an enigma. A staunch apologist for the fundamentals of Mormon theology she holds doggedly to the doctrines of continuing revelation and open cannon. At the same time she is [Read More...]

Saving Zion from America: Theorizing in the aftermath

I’ve been thinking about Zion.   I am one of a few fortunate Mormon feminists,   I have a bishop and a Stake President who are first and foremost disposed toward love and mercy before judgment and punishment.   They don’t agree with me on several points, but what defines their ministry is inclusion rather than exclusion.  [Read More...]

Burying Shirley, Unexcommunicating Kate

My mother-in-law, Shirley, died a week ago.  At the same time as we have been processing her death and all that it means to our family, hovering over me has been the shadow of a different kind of death – the excommunication of Kate Kelly, of Margaret Toscano, of Lavina Fielding Anderson and all of [Read More...]


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